AFI FEST presented by Audi is the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of international cinema from modern masters and emerging filmmakers. It takes place each fall in Hollywood, California and features nightly red-carpet galas, special screenings, conversations and tributes. AFI FEST presents a program of new international cinema from filmmakers from across the globe. FREE Tickets are available HERE.
There are several Dutch participants -productions as well co-productions- in this year’s program. Below you can find a short resume of these films. For the complete program, you can check out AFI Fest’s website.
THOSE WHO FEEL THE FIRE BURNING
Morgan Knibbe’s poetic experimental documentary captures with raw force the modern migrant experience in Europe, as seen through the eyes of a deceased shipwreck victim. With darkly sparkling cinematography and Malick–esque fragmented voiceover narration, we follow the path of migrants from a terrifying, visually suffocating sequence at sea to an alien–seeming Europe made up of lonely streets, cramped apartments and desperate scrambles to secure work. More INFO
Twenty–three–year–old writer/director Sibs Shongwe–La Mer referenced a painful loss as a teen to make this personal, stylized debut. Shongwe–La Mer’s film offers an authentic perspective of life in Jo’burg, or Johannesburg, South Africa, as he knew it. The film begins on a harrowing note: A wealthy white teen has hanged herself from a tree, using her school necktie. To make matters worse, her death has been live–streamed. From there, the filmmaker follows other teens peripherally connected to the girl, all of whom make up a contemporary génération perdue — young people who are wrecked and defeated, unsure of the present and the future. With polished black–and–white cinematography, the film rings true beyond its focus on post–apartheid South Africa, and speaks more generally to a millennial tragedy. More INFO
LAND AND SHADE (US PREMIERE)
Awarded the coveted Camera d’Or prize at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, César Augusto Acevedo’s magnificently photographed minimalist feature debut reveals rich pleasures beneath its luscious veneer. With his estranged son gravely ill, an old farmer returns to the sugarcane fields of rural Colombia where the family and land he long ago abandoned have withered dramatically, devastated by industrial progress. As ash rains nightly all around them, the final throes of a family’s fragile turmoil play out. Acevedo takes a gorgeously bleak, meticulous approach, with sweeping movements, calculated sequencing and deceptively simple use of space and staging worthy of study for aspiring filmmakers. LAND AND SHADE will reward patient viewers with a story of classic struggle and humanist themes expressed through the power of the moving image. Its deeply penetrating scope deserves to be remembered. More INFO
NEON BULL (BOI NEON)
Iremar is a modern–day cowboy working the Brazilian rodeo circuit. He spends his days covered in mud and feces, looking after the bulls and preparing their tails before releasing them onto the Vaquejada track. A recent textile boom is providing new opportunities for people in the region, and Iremar dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer, using his spare time to create elaborate garments for a new clothing line. More INFO